Our liberal acquaintances are fond of saying that "this is what democracy looks like." Banging on plastic buckets, marching around the Square, fake doctors' excuses, trying to shout down Legislative debate. Pretty much everything looks like democracy except, y'know, actual election results.
At least to a few of the protestors in the Siege of The Capitol 2011, democracy must have looked like the light show pulsing as Iron Butterfly grinds through "Inna Gadda da Vida," baby.
Syndicated columnist Mike Nichols recounts a tent -- A TENT! -- erected on the third floor of the South Wing from which so much smoke was pouring that the investigating police officer thought it might be on fire. Instead, he discovered rolling papers, a bag, a bong, and "and enough smoke to make Cheech and Chong jealous." [WI State Journal: The intoxication of being a protester]
Gives new meaning to "in the cloud."
Don't know much about the economy
Candles flicker as a plaintive cry echoes through the granite corridors of the Stately Manor like the moanings of the tortured ghost of Elsinore: Why, oh why did they stop teaching economics in our high schools?
It is a failing that that allows our liberal acquaintances (for they ARE ...) to believe that Michael Moore knows more about Wisconsin's state government finances than our duly elected governor. Medicare? Nothing to see there, either.
In my previous blogge, I concluded that
Too many of my former colleagues in the public sector think because they pay taxes on their generous salaries and benefits they don't need a private sector to support the services they provide -- that an economy can be sustained by selling each other memberships in the Sierra Club. Please, schools, teach practical economics to our young people!
Sure enough, one James Jones indecently exposed his financial illiteracy by asking what education reform might have to do with prosperity! (Sigh.) And they call this the Information Age!
Let's take this quick one-question quiz, Blogge heads:
Business firms wish to sell their products at high prices. Households wish to buy products at low prices. In a market economy, this conflict of interest is resolved by
D. collective bargaining.
The Lakeland College Center for Economic Education posed that question to 480 high school students one year ago.
Would you believe, as Maxwell Smart used to ask, that 61% answered b) government? That 13% answered d) collective bargaining? Only 11% correctly answered, c) competition.
The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (for whom I used to write) cites that and other discouraging test results in its May 2011 report, "Failing our Children: Wisconsin's Deficit in Teaching Personal Finance and Economics."
Its executive summary: we're raising a state full of economic illiterates because we don't teach personal finance or economics in the high schools. The author of the report, Scott Niederjohn, details that whereas 65 percent of the state's school districts require courses in government only 26 percent require courses in economics or personal finance.
UW-Madison requires no economics or business courses of its social studies majors. These are kids who are growing up to vote for Kloppenburg, staff the Havens Center, and write editorials for The Capital Times. (Dan Quayle was right: a mind IS a terrible thing to lose.)
Niederjohn writes, "It is a curious fact that we show far less enthusiasm for teaching about the private sector -- where most of our students will eventually find employment and earn their living."
Wisconsin, he suggests, should join the 21 states that require high schools to teach economics or the 13 that require a personal finance course.
Did John Nichols visit that reefer tent?
Turns out state government is expecting a small bump in tax revenues. The Capital Times directs its readers to Thank Democrats, unions for revenue boost.
At the federal level, a measure of the credit goes to President Obama and the Democrats.
One on-line reader was gobsmacked. "This is amazing. Unbelievable. (A) 1.6% increase in tax revenue for Wisconsin?! All because of the federal stimulus program?! Outstanding! Completely unfathomable."
Our money for their political pay-offs
More workings of Madison's majoritarian financial mindset. No blood for oil? How about this bumper sticker: "No tax for grease."
Political grease, Chicago style, that is.
Is anyone surprised? Mayor-for-Life Paul Soglin reveals that the city will have to raise taxes $28 million to balance its books -- almost half of that above the state levy limit. ["City faces grim fiscal landscape" -- WI State Journal]. Either that or cut services.
Did we see this coming, class? Governor Walker warns the state is broke, can't provide the shared revenue payments of the past, gives local government tools to level the playing field with their unionized employees.
How does then-Mayor Dave Cieslewicz respond? He parades the Common Council arm-in-arm with the city employee unions to an emergency meeting on February 17 to shower the powerful unions with pay hikes and exempt them from higher benefit contributions. This white collar crime leverages the property tax of homeowners and businesses in a naked bid to buy a close election looming just six weeks out. [Blaska's Blog refuses to bend over ...]
Today, no one is happy -- Mayor Dave lost anyway, taxpayers are on the hook, and Soglin must clean up the mess. Except for the unions; they got theirs.
But is Tommy Right enough?
Tommy Thompson was right. He could have beaten Russ Feingold, as he told a tea party on the Capitol lawn last spring. Now wearing the protective bark of a revered elder statesman, he may get a good scraping from both the Left and the Right if he decides to go for Herb Kohl's seat.
A caller Tuesday on Miss Vicki's show called TGT a "RINO." The boss was a big government conservative but times were flush and, as I pointed out in my turn at the microphone, the man vetoed millions of dollars of spending that Democrats tried to tack onto his budgets. TGT virtually invented welfare reform and school choice. He was the original jobs, jobs, jobs governor.
But yeah, he started BadgerCare and that program is doing what all government entitlements do: metastasizing. Now Charlie Sykes launches a pe-emptive drone attack:
Tommy's Problem -- And ours. As he contemplates senate run, Tommy Thompson is going to have to figure out how to explain his long flirtation with Obamacare.
Congrats to Bill Lueders for landing a job promoting liberalism with the George Soros funded maplight.org. Let the debate about whose political money is purer continue!
Kudos to the Republican-controlled Legislature for moving to repeal a law that requires police to collect data about the race of drivers they pull over in traffic stops. [WI State Journal: 05-18-2011] The work of erasing all vestiges of Little Jim E. Doyle continues.